Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Elective surgery targets about numbers not needs

Maryan Street
Health Spokesperson

28 November 2012

Elective surgery targets about numbers not needs

Children are being dropped off treatment lists as district health boards focus on meeting the government’s much-lauded elective surgery “targets”, Labour’s Health spokesperson Maryan Street says.

“Tony Ryall can brag all he likes about the sector meeting its goals, but when the method of achieving those goals is to have hospitals carry out two basic operations rather than one more difficult one, he could at least be honest about it.

“Clinicians and parents have told me of some truly sad cases - such as the little boy whose congenital eye disorder was to be surgically corrected, having his surgery cancelled because two more cataract operations were necessary that afternoon in order to keep the DHB’s numbers on target,” she said.

“In another case, a solo mum couldn’t even get her 4-year-old on to a waiting list for a First Specialist Assessment because the DHB has to keep waiting times low to look good for the Minister of Health. This little girl has an emerging speech defect which might benefit from surgical intervention, yet her mother can’t get confirmation of that because the DHB has said her daughter’s case is not urgent and therefore she will never make it on to a waiting list.

“This kind of environment has been described by clinicians as ‘demoralising’. They are compelled to make decisions for the wrong reasons. Health is always about competing priorities but what we are seeing here are people being asked to make decisions they feel uncomfortable about.

“No wonder waiting times are dropping – the DHBs are not taking people for first assessments, let alone putting them up for a surgical waiting list.

“Numbers of operations are being prioritised over, in these cases, children’s needs. This is one target which is being met at the cost of real need and it should be reviewed,” said Maryan Street.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news